By Aida Morden:
Forced self-isolation, physical distancing, lockdowns and travel bans were bywords under COVID-19… and they were alarmingly real. Organisations like Migrante Southwest Sydney , that heavily rely on group activities such as meetings, forums and conferences to achieve our goals in community work had to quickly redefine our strategies and switched to different forms of communication. Social media became the major means of communica- tion. Migrante Southwest Sydney created a Facebook; took part in meetings through Zoom and Jitsi and wore masks and apply hand sanitisers when we need to meet in person. Serving the people continues. In the past restive months of COVID-19, some notable achievements are worth mentioning. These are:
- Filipino migrants and their families in Southwest Sydney were recipients of a bagful of grocery items during the height of COVID-19 outbreak. These over 30 households all live in Campbelltown areas of Ingleburn, , Macquarie Fields, Liverpool up to Guildford, Homebush, Bankstown, Yagoona and Kingsgrove. All breadwinners of these families lost their jobs as their employers were forced to close business. The grocery items consisted of rice, canned goods, sugar, coffee, longlasting milk, cooking oil, spaghetti and eggs were donated by generous members of the community. Many business owners offered assistance in kind, particularly those in the food business. Many generous individuals also donated cash.
- Migrante Southwest Sydney extended financial assistance to two groups in the Philippines whose members were hit hardest by the pandemic. We sent AUD$500 to Desaparicidos Pilipinas , a group of relatives of political prisoners and together with Migrante NSW AUD$500.00 to Barug Katangod.
- MigranteSouthwestSydneyprovidedassistancetofive (5) overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with their visa applications in order that they remain in Australia. We were able to achieve a successful outcome through the coordinated effort between Ms Delia del Rosario of Central Coast Migrante who is Migrante NSW Migration Specialist consultant.
- Social distancing and Lockdowns during COVID-19 did not deter members of Southwest Migrante from actively participating in mass actions. We participated in Black Lives Matter rally in Sydney and made noises in a number of Kalampagans.We will continue to confront the challenges of this pandemic on top of the other issues that our members and the community as a whole face.
We will continue to confront the challenges of this pandemic on top of the other issues that our members and the community as a whole face.